New lockdown rules on buying, selling, moving home, and tradespeople

With the number of Covid-19 cases increasing at an alarming rate across the whole of the UK, the government has acted to try and control the spread of the virus by introducing another lockdown.

In order fight coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives, the government is urging people to do more to reduce the spread of the infection by reducing day-to-day contact with other people, and that means staying home, except for specific purposes.

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the government is also asking people to not gather with others they do not live with, except for specific purposes, as well as close certain businesses and venues, but does that include estate agency branches?

All non-essential retail has been ordered to close for a month, including auction houses, but does not appear at this stage to include estate agents, and so they will not have to close under the existing guidance – at least not in England.

While the housing market in England will remain open, the Welsh government has put all viewings on hold.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick took to social media to confirm that renters and homeowners in England will be able to move and removal firms, tradespeople, and estate agents can still operate by going inside homes.

Writing on Twitter, Jenrick said: “Housing market update ahead of Thursday’s measures: Renters & homeowners will be able to move; Removal firms and estate agents can operate; Construction sites can and should continue; Tradespeople will be able to enter homes.

“But all must follow the Covid safety guidance.”

Jenrick added that “all parties involved should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance”.

That includes following social distancing rules, wearing PPE including masks and gloves, having sellers leave the property during a viewing, which can only last for 15 minutes, and to have as few people looking at the property as possible.

He continued: “Tradespeople like electricians, plumbers, repairers of domestic appliances can enter your home. They will need to follow social distancing guidance that has already been published.”

However, during the current Welsh two-week ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown, the residential property market has effectively been closed again. Estate agent offices have been forced to shut and in-person property viewings are banned until Monday 9 November.

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  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    Not much of a change as most agents are already operating on appointments only, which is good for staff and customers. Sales and lettings can continue in the same way as the rules published in August set out.

    A desperate shame for people working in retail and hospitality. My heart goes out to them.

  2. #ImpressiveConveyancing

    Conveyancers were not locked down previously, nor this time. Nor are home removals (as they cannot work from home).

    Estate Agents – well, people cannot visit houses for viewings, so new deals will now slow to a snails pace, just as they did in the last lock-down.

    So for the next 4 weeks, ias before, the main activity will be conveyancers concluding existing deals like during the last lockdown, as well as progressing the small number of new deals starting during this new 4 week lockdown.


    1. Ric

      Does any official document/statement say “people cannot visit houses for viewings”?

      Like May 14th onwards, then the UK was in a more severe lockdown, people were allowed to view homes (with the understanding, proceedable only) and I cannot see anything to say this lockdown is more severe than the last (if anything it is less severe)

      Mask Up, Hand wash at the ready, take your 2.5m broom handle for safe distancing (and cracking out of order viewers) and press forward.

      Unless we have a November heatwave, then lock up and complete shut down please…

      1. fluter

        Socially distanced viewings were acceptable on vacant properties only post lockdown here in Wales. Vacant was specified as not having been lived in for 72 hours.

    2. JonnyBanana43

      well, people cannot visit houses for viewings,

      This is simply not true. We don’t know that yet.

  3. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    The actions of the current Government represent nothing short of fraud against the British public (and beyond) on a massive scale. Driven by hysteria and with no regard for empirical data or fact.

    Imperial college modelling continues to be relied upon, which was (possibly understandably) followed in the absence of any ‘real’ data prior to the first”lockdown”. This ‘real’ data is now available and published, however appears to be being conveniently and roundly ignored.

    The manner in which the current PM and his medical “experts” introduce such arbitrary measures with no parliamentary scrutiny, or recourse to same is a disgusting travesty against its population. In short, represents the introduction of a dictatorship in the UK.

    In addition there is a now a wide ranging body of work/ papers that demonstrates that viral transmission is negligibly affected by “lockdowns” and accompanying measures. However, we follow this folly with almost zombie like obedience.

    Sweden should serve as a real world example, and we should be seriously questioning our collective sanity and moreover…the sanity (or intentions) of those ruling us.

    The UK population has been infatilised by its government, and it’s time we stopped watching the drivel disseminated by the media, educated ourselves and acted like adults.

    Lord Sumption , a man of far greater intellect and eloquence than I, is someone we should be all be listening to and taking interest in his views around this matter.


    Rant over. Have a lovely day


    1. JonnyBanana43

      I’m afraid you can’t compare the UK to Sweden – completely different on every level.
      Forget the dictatorship – look at what the devolution of 1997 has done to our United Kingdom… The Welsh socialists closing everything down – the Scots pointscoring and Northern Ireland… Let’s not even go there. interestingly, because of their left wing devolved “government” welsh estate agents are really feeling the pain this time… And the English agents across the border are lapping it up..
      Your “dictator” needs to take back control of these outposts. 

      1. JonnyBanana43

        I do agree about Lord Sumption and what this is doing to our liberty. 

        1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

          That’s pleasing to read… liberty is the most significant casualty that COVID has taken….
          This must concern us all

  4. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    The comparisons drawn to Sweden take into account climatic factors, demographics, the healthcare system and other variables.

    I’d like you to enlighten me as to why you believe Sweden is incomparable?


    1. iViewProperty

      Sweden is apparently more urbanised than we are & comparisons are appropriate. Search on YouTube for the interview Anna Brees has done with Dr Mike Yeadon (who was a Chief Science Officer for Pfizer for 16 years and is more qualified than most to judge the virus) – he explains how the Pandemic is over and we shouldn’t worry about the virus any more than we should about Flu every year.

      Regarding the property market – it’s still open, viewings can take place with appropriate precautions in place (PPE/social distancing) but online viewings should be offered first.

  5. Will2

    How about the conspiracy theorists, those choosing not to comply with the rules, those going on non essential protests, attending raves and partys etc be band from using the NHS for any covid related infections if they catch this dreadful virus so it does not overload the NHS. After all spreading the virus puts others at risk and these people are potentially risking others lives not just their own. Why would any fairly elected Government want to wreck its economy and risk being voted out of power just to deny our liberty?  We are, of course, all entitled to our own opinions and there is no doubt a difficult choice between the econmony and health. Perhaps stringent enforcement of the rules would have helped. Everyone should be trying to protect one another be they young, old or anywhere in between.

  6. Simonr6608

    Sweden is twice the size of the UK with a population similar to London and its largest city Stockholm has a population of 1.5million and London roughly 9 – 10 million. Sweden had a population density of 23 people/sqkm the UK 275 people/sqkm.

    The most telling statistic is that Sweden has recorded 58 deaths per 100 000 whilst in the UK it has been 68 per 100 000, I would say that statistically the Swedish model has faired considerably worse than the UK.

    For any comparison to really make sense the two countries need to be similar in both size and population and density to really give an accurate picture



  7. Edgar

    So can estate agents keep their branches open or what? Jenrick’s communication is as clear as ever.

    1. surrey1

      I believe so. Communication from government dire as ever though.

  8. Quags

    I have to say, I’m as ever dismayed at the governments apparent lack of care towards agents.

    Money in front of safety.


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